How to Give a Speech or Presentation Like a Hall of Famer

Sign that reads Hall of Fame

Can you imagine the thrill of getting inducted into a hall of fame and joining a list of immortals? What would you say at your induction speech? The answer to that second question has led to talks that range from good to great to awful. The Path of Greatness It takes consistent greatness in your sport to make it to the hall of fame. Once you get there, it takes adherence to a proven set of principles to ensure your … Continue reading

Use Less “I” and More “They” in Presentations

Professionals gathered around a conference table for presentations.

The fastest way to improve your presentations and your presentation skills is to get over yourself. Once you get over the idea that the presentation is about you, then getting up in front of the room or in front of a camera gets far easier. There’s a powerful shift that takes place when you change one thing about your approach to presentations: your focus. The shift in focus of your presentations When you focus less on yourself and more on … Continue reading

The Big Idea That Will Improve Your Next Presentation

Light bulb signifying a big idea.

One big idea can change everything. Think of your favorite song. In a few words, what is that song about? Think of a movie you really love. In a few words, what is that move about? That’s the big idea. It’s the idea that everything else revolves around. And too often it’s missing from presentations. The Big Idea at Work After you watch a movie, you don’t remember every single line said in every single scene. You remember what the movie … Continue reading

When to Sit or Stand in a Conference Room Presentation

Man with paper in a conference room presentation.

Sit or stand when presenting in a conference room? Too often presenters sit during their presentation because they feel more comfortable. They feel like they can “hide” a little and not put themselves fully out there. Other times presenters stand and make too much of a point with their body language. Choose wrong and you’ll miss the mark with your audience. Two Key Questions When Presenting in a Board Room Knowing when to sit or stand isn’t about your personal … Continue reading

How to Influence Audience Perception in Presentations

Presenter delivering straight on to an audience.

Understanding how to influence audience perception in presentations begins with understanding the lasting power of presentations. Think for a moment about the last presentation you attended. What do you remember from that? What was your perception of the presenter? The Power and Speed of Perception If you’re like most people, you remember the perception more clearly than the content. There are plenty of reasons for that. One of the biggest reasons is we form perceptions quickly and then spend most … Continue reading

How to Handle Numbers and Data in Presentations

A clock and calendar showing numbers and data

Data and numbers present unique challenges in presentations. Some presentations require you to use a lot of numbers or data. There’s no getting around that. One or two numbers, no problem. Dozens of numbers, problem. Big numbers, big problem. The problem is caused by our brain’s inability to hold onto numbers easily. Your mind doesn’t hold onto data and numbers efficiently Think of how often you have had to write down someone one’s phone number so you didn’t forget it. … Continue reading

Two Techniques That Make It Easy to Present to a Large Audience

The only thing that scares more people than delivering a speech or giving a presentation is doing it to a large audience. More people in the audience is actually something that can make your life easier as a presenter, not harder. Once you understand that, you’ll start to see a big audience as nothing more than a big opportunity. Size Matters. Dealing with a big crowd isn’t as intimidating as you might think. You don’t have to talk louder–they have microphones … Continue reading

The Power of Using Pictures in Presentations

Four blocks forming an abstract face and powerful pictures

We’ve all had the experience of seeing stunning pictures that stay with us. Look at the photo to the right, an abstract of a human face. Which has a more significant impact on you? Seeing the picture of an abstract human face or reading the line, abstract human face? Pictures have the power to say more than words and to stay with us longer than words. Picture Superiority Effect Researchers call it the picture superiority effect, the ability for people to … Continue reading

The #1 Mistake to Avoid in Your Presentation Open

Man on phone talking about presentation tips

In day-to-day interactions, we typically begin with an introduction. “Hi, I’m Gerry–with a G…” But in presentations, the introduction is not where you want to begin. The Audience Isn’t There For You The people who come to your presentation usually arrive for one of two reasons: Someone told them they had to show up They think they will get something valuable out of the presentation That’s it. Unless it’s your mom sitting there in the front row, or maybe a … Continue reading

How to Make Bullets Points More Conversational

Presenter at white board with bullets

Bullets are better than paragraphs in PowerPoint We’ve all seen plenty of them on slides More often than not presenters misuse them If you use too many of them you’ll lose your audience’s attention Too many pages of bullets in a row have the same negative effect Bullets have their place I’m not against using bullets on PowerPoint slides in your presentations. They have their place. But their place is not every place. Too many presenters use too many bullets in too … Continue reading